THE owner of a Barrhead garage claims his reputation is being tarnished by bogus traders who dump disused tyres in the countryside.

Tyre Xpress boss Gordon Falconer has blasted the “white van men” who approach garages and offer to recycle old tyres for a discount price before discarding them in fields.

Images have surfaced on social media showing several tyres dumped near Kingston Road, in Neilston, while there have also been reports of similar scenes in Barrhead and Johnstone.

Gordon told the Barrhead News that tyre-dumping has been a long-standing problem in the area.

He also insists there is little that professional services like his own – based in Kelburn Street – can do to stop rogue traders from blighting the countryside.

Gordon claimed next to no action has been taken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), despite the fact he has reported the issue to the watchdog on a number of occasions.

He said: “There are lots of people doing it and we get them in all the time.

“We charge £1.50 plus VAT to recycle a tyre but these people are charging £1.

“It’s been going on for years but there’s nothing you can do. It’s different people every time.

“They keep the tyres in warehouses.

“You spend a fortune getting rid of the tyres and then they do that – it gives you a bad name.”

A spokesman for SEPA said it is aware of the issue.

He added: “SEPA officers are currently investigating an incident of alleged fly-tipping close to Kingston Road, in Neilston, in which waste tyres have been left in a field.

“Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime and can have serious consequences for the environment if the waste is not disposed of correctly.

“SEPA officers recently carried out a series of visits to local waste tyre producers in the Greater Glasgow area, including Barrhead and Neilston, to ensure operators understand their responsibility under Duty of Care for the disposal of waste tyres.

“These visits specifically stressed the need for businesses to be mindful of rogue traders and their legal obligation to make sure waste tyres are sent to licensed facilities for disposal or reuse.

“We would encourage anyone who witnesses fly-tipping or finds fly-tipped waste to report it in confidence by calling the Dumb Dumpers Stop Line on 0845 230 4090.”

A spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire Council also called on local residents to play their part in tackling the problem.

She told the Barrhead News: “We regularly monitor known fly-tipping areas and will be investigating this recent issue in Neilston.

“It is important that the community reports people who they see blighting their communities in this way.

“Our free, 24-hour, confidential Ring and Report hotline can be reached on 0800 013 0076 and we encourage residents to use it."